Today’s hearing on ACA implementation did not produce a lot of news. In part that’s because no one at the hearing–Republicans, Democrats, or representatives for the private companies testifying–seemed especially well prepared. The corporate heads in particular repeatedly said they would take questions and get answers at some later date. In other words, one of the most common answers today was some version of “I don’t know.”
The other reason there were not more fireworks today is that Sec. Sebelius, who manages the agency that oversaw the project, was not there. Sebelius is supposed to testify at another hearing next week. So what we mostly saw in this hearing was a lot of subtle buck passing to someone who was not in the room.
One of the things today’s hearing did establish pretty clearly is that not enough testing was done on the site prior to launch. In this exchange Cheryl Campbell of CGI makes clear that the two weeks eventually allotted to testing at the end of September was not enough for a project of this scale:
Rep. Walden: If your company could have made that decision what would you have made a recommendation for the complete integrated end-to-end testing to begin? When should that have started?
Campbell: It should…it would have had…we would have liked to have months to do it